Deer grazing on your beloved hosta, ornamental shrubs and flowers can cause an unbelievable amount of damage to expensive landscape plants. Deer opportunistically feed on some of the most beautiful plants, often stripping ornamental plants of every single flower, leaf and stem in their continuous quest for food. Choosing deer-resistant plants helps limit animal traffic through your property. Selecting less appetizing plants to decorate the landscape and using deer-resistant plants to strategically shield treasured ornamentals allows the garden to coexist with these four-legged garden bandits.
Candytuft provides brilliant evergreen foliage with beautiful white four-petal flowers. This plan provides low-growing ground cover up to 10 inches in height. Candytuft prefers full sun locations and well-drained soil. This member of the mustard family blooms in mid spring in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8. Candytuft foliage features glossy green leaves with a mounding tendency. Applying a layer of mulch in early winter will help protect tender roots from freeze damage.
Blue Mist Spirea
Dainty blue flowers grace this fragrant shrub during the late summer. Blue mist spirea features grayish blue leaves and abundant flowers that attract bees and butterflies. This plant isn't a true spirea despite the name but thrives in zones 6 to 9. Blue mist likes a full-sun location in the garden and well-drained soil. This perennial grows to a height and width of about 3 feet. Trim the blue mist spirea back in late spring since flowers appear on new growth. Blue mist gives off a fragrance that may discourage foraging by deer.
Deer won't munch on the beautiful, unique snapdragon, a staple for the annual flower garden. Snapdragons have distinctive flowers with two petals that appear to form a mouth. Snapdragon thrives in all USDA zones and produces medium-green alternate foliage. Some cultivars reach up to 3 feet in height. Snapdragon work well as border plants and as protective screens for less deer-resistant plants. Snapdragon grows quickly in an upright fashion and grows best in part shade. Flowers appear in a variety of colors including pink, maroon, purple, yellow and orange.
Rose of Sharon
Flowers might be tasty to deer but for some reason, deer avoid snacking on the rose of Sharon shrub. This member of the hibiscus family produces medium green heart-shaped leaves that don't tempt the palate of deer. Rose of Sharon also produces large-petaled flowers in an array of colors ranging from white to pink to showy violet. Rose of Sharon can mature to a height of up to 8 feet and spreads to a width of up to 4 feet. Rose of Sharon provides beautiful late summer color in zones 5 to 8. Plant the rose of Sharon in the partial shade or full sun garden in well-drained soil.